I’ll just come right out and admit it: I picked up this book solely — and I mean, solely — based on its cover. I may or may not have gone into my set-to-shutter Borders a few weeks back in order to make one last purchase at my beloved bookstore, and I wanted it to be something memorable. Something I hoped I would cherish.
I’m sort of obsessed with Tiffany and Tiffany blue; it’s so whimsical and exciting. I’ve had the pleasure of opening two Tiffany boxes in my life — one containing the ring I bought myself in Beverly Hills, and another with a necklace from my dear boyfriend — and each occasion made an indelible mark on my feminine heart.
Marjorie Hart’s Summer At Tiffany bears the trademark hue I know so well and immediately caught my eye. It’s a memoir set in 1945, a year that bears the distinction of seeing the end of World War II and a new era of life in America. Marjorie Hart is a young woman from Iowa who arrives in New York City seeking adventure and spends one summer in the city, where she gets a job as one of the first female pages at Tiffany.
Her months in New York are spent learning about the city, eyeing famous Tiffany patrons and searching to discover her true path in life. As new opportunities arise and threaten to take her farther from her close family and dreams in Iowa, Marjorie must decide whether she should follow the carefully-laid path or venture into unknown territory.
Summer At Tiffany, above all else, is a nostalgic feel-good memoir that had me eager to find a sailor to smooch in Times Square. Did it feel a little glossed-over and a tad too perfect? Sure. But we’re getting Marjorie’s story — and that of her best friend, Marty — some 60-odd years after that summer took place. Of course the author will peer at the past through rose-colored glasses. And of course she’s going to have selective memories involving the mostly good moments that encapsulated that time in her life.
So nothing tawdry happened, of course. Marjorie is a fine blond-haired beauty who experienced nothing more controversial than missing a bus back from the beach. After she and Marty dozed off during their first time seeing the ocean, police officers took pity on them and brought them back to their small apartment. And my favorite part was Hart’s descriptions of the post-war enthusiasm that overwhelmed New York City, drawing everyone into a state of euphoria that is unparalleled.
Hart’s writing is simple but not simplistic. I appreciated her clear anecdotes, interesting descriptions and way of immediately putting me into a scene. And did I salivate over the Tiffany descriptions? Absolutely. It was such fun to read stories about Tiffany’s famous customers, especially Judy Garland, and all the diamond talk had me hankerin’ for a new jewel or two.
Though Hart’s ohmygeegollygosh! talk could get a bit repetitive, I still enjoyed this fun remembrance of an important time in American history — and Marjorie’s life. It’s a fast and fun read that fans of World War II-era books and memoirs will appreciate.
3.5 out of 5!